Spoiler Free Summary: 17 years after the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are all grown up with children of their own. Harry’s youngest is the odd man out. It picks up right where the last book left off, only we find out who young Albus Potter sits next to on the train, and it’s the most unlikely person. Albus struggles to be the boy who’s the son of the boy who lived, and he and his friend Scorpious find all the wrong ways to make a name for themselves. When they find a mission for themselves, a mission designed to fix one of Harry’s past mistakes, they only end up discovering the costs of trying to be heroes.
(NOTE: This isn’t a book. It’s a script. I think it was wise and kind of those involved to let people who love that world see what the next chapter is, and they did so in the most immediate format available. If you just want to KNOW what happened, this does the trick. Also, this isn’t a Harry Potter book. He has a significant role, but the book isn’t really about him.)
Character: This part frustrated me a bit. Albus has a solid arc, and he’s very proactive, which helps, but things seem to move a little too quickly for my taste here. It doesn’t hurt the book exactly, but readers should be ready to let a little development slide here. You can probably give some of that to the performance as this is a script, not a novel. I have to say this. The lesson and arc Albus goes through is far less external than Harry. I can see the reasoning here. Harry had to beat the overlord. How do you improve on that? Options: Bigger villain, or more dramatic focus. The most interesting part of Albus is the lesson he learned because it was the only one there was for him to learn.
Scorpious, on the other hand completely steals the show for me. I found him more compelling anyway. He’s a young man who has to struggle with his family’s mistakes, and all he wants to do is be a kid. My opinion, this story falls short if Scorpious isn’t in it. Where Harry was clearly the hero of the last generation, Scorpious carved a place for himself in my heart. Sure, Albus does some cool things, but he wasn’t nearly as heroic as his friend.
Exposition: This was a script, so we get a little insight into emotions and stage direction, but this is heavy based on dialogue.
Worldbuilding: This is where I think the book falls short. The writers are asking readers to believe that nearly two decades have passed, and there wasn’t a hint of progress in the world? Where the Mistborn world and even The Last Airbender worlds evolved, there’s nothing in this book to show any passage of time. This will be grounds for argument for anyone who cares to waste oxygen on it, but if the only reason they’re still using owls to communicate is because they always have, then what significant contributions are there to be made in the wizarding world? Especially with a Minister of Magic who was raised in a muggle world.
I think this is a failure on the part of the writers. I was glad to see more of the world of Harry Potter. We even get a peek at some magical developments. So if want you want is pretty much EXACTLY the same world you left, then you’re in luck. Of course, if you really wanted that, you could actually just reread the original series. For me, if I read a book nearly two decades after the last, I want some worldbuilding ways to note said passage of time.
Dialogue: I don’t actually know if the dialogue is “good” here. There’s a lot of it. The character’s voices feel unique. I’ve never read a script before, so perhaps there’s some expectation the actors will bring the words to life. It’s honest to say it didn’t meet my expectations, but that my expectations were higher because I knew dialogue would drive the story.
Description: Again, this was a script, so there’s not much there.
Overall: It was nostalgic to go back to this world and see what’s happened. I can say what I want about the worldbuilding, but that doesn’t diminish the wonderful characters in the story, nor does is make this book unentertaining. It is a fun, fast-paced story that I’m glad was published. I love knowing “what happened next,” and this book does that for us. I read this in about two days (which is fast even for me). Yes, I was more happy to see these characters in a new story than I was impressed with the actual plot, but it was still enjoyable. If you love Harry Potter, I imagine you’ll like this next chapter. If you didn’t love the world and style of the books though, you’ll be disappointed because it’s the same in this book.
I’m not actually one of those who sing the praises of J.K. Rowling. She did a lot for this industry, and I really enjoyed the saga. I’m just a bit less in awe of her actual writing, and I had some serious problems with Deathly Hallows. Regardless, I was very happy I read Cursed Child. I was glad to see the characters again, and I’d look forward to more from this new generation.
Thanks for reading